Located in the city of Dana Point close to the city-boundary between Dana Point and Laguna Niguel, the small neighborhood of Monarch Beach is an upscale waterfront community that is a tourist attraction for many visitors to the area. Nonetheless, the community does consist of some residences within a resort-style suburb.
Monarch Beach Amenities
Monarch Beach is best known for being home to the two luxury hotels of Monarch Beach Resort and the Ritz Carlton-Laguna Niguel, both of which are located within the Dana Point city limits. These beachside resorts offer a number of amenities for visitors and residents to enjoy. Among these are top-rated golf courses, with the links at the Monarch Beach Golf Course being considered among the best in Southern California. The Monarch Beach Resort and Links Course also brings a number of amenities to the area.
Salt Creek Beach, which is located right next to the Ritz Carlton, is a favorite spot for surfers. The community also boasts a number of other beaches, creating a true beach community atmosphere. At the same time, Monarch Beach is located just minutes from downtown Dana Point and Laguna Beach, which means a number of restaurants, shops and other amenities are located just a short distance away.
The private neighborhoods within the Monarch Beach community also offer amenities for their residents to enjoy. The private community of Ritz Cove, for example, offers upscale direct beach access. Most of the communities are also located behind gates with 24-hour security in place.
Monarch Beach History
Monarch Beach is named after Monarch Bay, which is its most prominent geological feature. The bay got its name from the fact that the rolling hills of sagebrush and Manzanita in the area served as a breeding ground for the monarch butterfly. While the butterflies were once present in the area in large masses, they have since disappeared because their habitat has been almost entirely replaced by residential development.
Once part of the Laguna Niguel unincorporated county area, Monarch Beach was later incorporated as part of Dana Point in 1987 amidst great controversy. After much debate, Dana Point officially became the 28th city in Orange County on January 1, 1989 with Monarch Beach included within the city limits.
Exploring Dana Point
Located in southern Orange County, Dana Point was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Dana was an author who write Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area.
While the anchorage in Dana Point was once described as being poor, it has since been developed into a functional harbor that even contains a replica of Dana’s ship, the Pilgrim. The ship is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, while the area itself has been designated as California Historical Landmark #189.
With a population of more than 33,000 people, Dana Point hosts a number of festivals and events each year. These include the Festival of Whales in March. The Tall Ships Festival in September and the Dana Point Grand Prix bike race overlooking Dana Point Harbor.